“Sit down there” He said as he pointed on a Chair.
He made a call and a minute later, a female Police came up to the apartment.
He spoke some Italian and instantly, the female officer asked which one was my room.
I pointed to the room where my bag was.
She asked me to follow her.
Inside the room, she asked me to put on a descent cloth first.
I changed the gown and put on a trouser. I already knew there was trouble and that i might be heading to the Police Station with them.
The police officer watched as i put on a pullover and when i was done, she asked me to return to the sitting room.
“Passporte” She said as soon as we returned to the sitting room.
Two Police men were standing in the sitting room while the other two were inside Ano’s room with him. I didn’t now what they were doing but i believed they were searching for something.
It then occurred to me that Ano might not be what he told me he was.
There must have been a big reason why he was arrested and brought to the apartment.
“No Passport” I said to the officer.
She looked at the other two and turned back to me.
“Where are you from?” She asked.
“How long have you been in Italy?”
“About One year”.
“How did you come here?”
“I came through the big Water” I said.
“Do you have any kind of identity paper with you?” She asked.
“Give it to me”.
She followed me as i went into the room and opened my small handbag which i usually take to Work daily.
I brought out my ID card and handed it to her.
We returned outside and i waited as she scanned through the paper.
When she was done, she asked why i was not in Venice.
“I live there in Venice. I came to see my friend” I said.
It was obvious to me from day one, that i was required to live in Venice.
I had visited there twice since i came to Milan but it was just to go and pick up my monthly payment.
“When did you meet Jack?” She asked.
“Jack?” I asked.
“Yes, When did you meet him?” she asked.
It suddenly occurred to me that Ano could have given me a different name from his original name since we all did it anyway. Or that maybe he gave them a different name from his real one. Whatever one it was, it was good that i flowed with whatever they came up with. Being intelligent was just about concentration at that moment.
“I don’t remember, but not very long ago” I said.
I knew it wasn’t a clear answer but in situations like that, i knew there were too much implications in clear cut answers. I didn’t know what Ano had said about me but the good news was that my documents said i was from Venice.
Some minutes later, the other three came out from Ano’s room.
He was still on cuffs but i didn’t even look at him. I just wondered why they had arrested him.
The only thing on my mind was that he was a drug dealer. He had a British Passport which ruled him out of immigration issues.
After about 30 Minutes in the apartment, they handed my papers back to me and asked me to return to Venice the next day.
Then they left with Ano without any explanation.
As soon as they left, i sat down and wondered what exactly had happened. They had just taken away my boyfriend, my happiness and my security in Milan. The worst Of it all was that i got no explanation whatsoever. That was not fair. I believed they should have at least said what he did or how long he was going to stay away.
I cried for long and thought about the next things to do if he didn’t return on time. The first issue was going to rise from House rent. The Italian system had made it that people paid rents monthly. That meant that somehow, i was expected to come up with whatever he paid in less than a two weeks. The Electricity and water bills would follow up shortly.
Worst of it all was that i didn’t even know where the bills were supposed to be paid.
My beautiful life in the apartment was as good as over unless Ano Suddenly returned. That was the only hope i had.
After crying, i returned to my room and changed clothes, then i went into Ano’s room to have a look.
The cops had left it open after their search.
I had been to the room many times but it all happened when Ano was around. It meant that i never really had time to know the things in the room.
The first drawer i pulled out revealed scattered Underpants and Boxers, the second showed towels and socks, also scattered as a result of the Police search.
I opened the wardrobe and searched his clothes one after the other, then i found it.
How on Earth did the Police miss that?
It was inside a Jean pocket, a bundle of 200 Euro notes plus some other dirty bills inside the same pocket.
My first reaction was to take it and disappear immediately. But Ano didn’t deserve that. He was my happiness and security. He could return from the Police anytime and the first things he would look for was the money and me.
Since i was going to remain in the apartment for at least another two weeks, i decided to leave the money where it was. If it happened that i had to vacate the apartment, nothing was ever going to stop me from taking it along with me. If and When Ano comes out, he would contact me and i would return the money to him. He would love me more and i believed he would even propose to marry me. He would trust me with his life because of that single act.
But if it happened that he didn’t come out at all, then the money stays with me. It would only be a matter of time before i used it to do something else.
There were many things to do with money. I had some big money to Balance Aunty Philo. The money i found was more than enough to pay for my freedom but i would gladly chose Ano instead of giving Philo that kind of money.
There was also the ‘going back to school in Nigeria’ issue.
All along, i had been telling myself that if i saved up enough money to see me through the University back in Nigeria, i would go home and find a way to get into the University. But there in the Sitting room in my Milan apartment, i told myself that i preferred to stay back in Italy than returning to Nigeria for school. It wasn’t an easy choice to make but it was the one I made. Italy was already becoming a bird in Hand.
I slept alone that night and the following morning, i went back to check for the money in the pocket.
Written For http://www.globalruns.com